Monday, August 22, 2011

The Toothless Wonder.

I've been keeping this gem under wraps for a couple days now for fear of soiling my name in the greater community, but then I realised that I'd already tarnished my reputation by dating a man with hideous teeth (seriously pal, they've made great advances in the field of dentistry - get in one of them mechanised chairs), so there was little more sullying I could do.

I'm now ready to share.

Lately I've been pretty lazy about packing lunch for myself. You see, I'm not much of a sandwich person (unless it's filled with salted egg mayo, and made by someone else) and since there've been insufficient leftovers from dinner to feed much more than an ant on weigh-less, I've had to resort to the lunch buying practice.

It just so happens, however, that on some days, like that fateful Wednesday, I don't find the time to buy anything. Which, ultimately, causes mixed emotions in the "Oh-Good-Lord-Could-Fucking-Eat-My-Shoes-And-Don't-You-Dare-Look-At-Me-Like-That-You-Who-Put-The-U-In-Cunt" cross "This-Is-The-Longest-I've-Been-Without-Food-In-My-Entire-Life-I-Must-Have-Lost-Weight-Pig-Squeal-Of-Excitement-Reeeeeee" kind of way.

By the time the bell sounded signalling my release from employment for the day, I was all but ready to ingest the goop that collects under The Daughter's car seat. I visualised getting home and diving into a bottle of aubergine and thyme slow-roasted cherry tomatoes - with the olive oil dribbling down my chin like the juice does on that chick in the Liqui-Fruit ad. (On the subject, I'm heartily off Liqui-Fruit at the minute, based solely on the fact that their ads suggest that a) fruit juice is sexy, and b) Liqui-Fruit is laced with acid and the consumption of a glass of mango and orange will assist in hallucination. Not true. I tried it. The best I got was a mental image of dry-humping Jake Gyllenhall, but I get those when drinking any beverage of all descriptions including my morning tea.)

So I was rav. In a could-eat-the-wet-fart-of-a-low-flying-seagull manner. And then it dawned on me: The Daughter had late ballet practice and I'd have to busy myself for an hour before collecting her.

I made a bee-line for the local Spar (evidently, it's not my Spar), bared my teeth and ordered a pie. Their selection was limited. I chose chicken and mushroom, in spite of the fact that I do not believe in teaming chicken with mushroom and I am quite capable of making a chicken pie that will evoke a jizz-in-the-rods reaction. But, for fear of fatal anorexia setting in, I was in no position to exercise my right to choice.

I was barely in my car, before I tore at the pie wrapper as though it were a connie in the heat of the moment. There was no time to eye this pie lovingly. I opened my mouth - a sizeable entity - and wrapped my lips around that bad dog as though it were attached to Jake Gyllenhall. I bit down with ferocity.

Initially, I didn't realise what had happened. It was only when I transferred the food to my molars that I discovered hard bits. Two of them.

In spite of the hunger, I forced myself to fish out the hard bits: a bone. And three-quarters of my front tooth cap (originally broken as a result of a bicycling accident aged six).


I lifted the visor to inspect the gnashers, and what met my anxious gaze in the mirror was nothing short of Bergie. I almost expected to see remaining teeth spaced unevenly in varying hues of orange, brown and blue black. I wanted to speak but was afraid I'd utter something along the lines of, "Jou ma se poes, bliksem! Faizel gonna poesklap me when he checks my bek."

Strangely, the sheer embarrassment I felt nullified the intense hunger I'd moments before felt with such intensity. I snapped the mouth shut like one of those archaic cellphones. And opened it again to check if what I'd seen was real.

Shit. Bugger.

I used my sizeable top lip to cover offending vacuum in mouth and proceeded to ring the dentist.

The Pant: I need an appointment. Immediately.

Dentist's Receptionist: I'm terribly sorry, Ms Liner, but we're fully booked until next month.

TP: I'm sorry, Dear, but I don't think you realise the gravity of my situation. I'm missing a tooth. An important one.

DR: Which tooth?

TP: Well, if I count from the front teeth to the left, I get to ONE!!!!

DR: Oh! Is the whole tooth gone?

TP: No.

DR: Well, that's a relief.

TP: Oh, is it? I'm glad you're relieved. I, however, am not. Because what is left is a sharpened caninish FANG!

DR: In the front?

TP: IN THE FRONT!So unless you can wangle me a doctor's note for the next month while I drink myself into a deep depression, as well as a bona fide man from The Cape Flats who is generally quite impressed by a lady having fewer than normal teeth, I would organise me an appointment.

DR: Well. Let's see. I suppose it is an emergency.

TP: You suppose?

DR: How about ten-thirty tomorrow?

TP: I could quite easily open mouth kiss you right now.

DR: Um...

TP: I suppose you'd prefer it if I waited until after the appointment?

With 18 hours to go, I had to excuse myself from work the following morning. Call me strange, but with my new-found tik-chic appearance, I was barely able to spend time with myself, let alone impressionable youths and colleagues.

I relayed the story to the boss lady.

Boss Lady: So, your appointment is at 1030. So you'll need to leave at about 1015?

The Pant: No, I'm missing a tooth.

BL: And?

TP: And, I'm not even going to speak to The Daughter until it is fixed let alone other people's children.

BL: Where is the tooth?

TP: Currently? Half in my mouth and the other half lying on the passenger seat in the tin casing from the pie.

BL: Well, where was the entire tooth before it broke?

TP: The front row.

BL: Okay. Compared with your front teeth?

TP: Next to those.

BL: Right. I'll see you when you've got a full head of teeth then.

TP: Thanks.

That night, I didn't, for the first time since I can remember, have my pre-bed bath. I couldn't stand the thought of being naked with a person with missing front teeth.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Daughter Ages.

The Daughter ages today. And so, I'm slightly stupefied today, not only at how old having a five-year-old human child whom I have both made, incubated and raised single-handedly (sometimes double-handedly, but both the hands belonged to me) makes me, but by the magnitude of love I feel for this human.

I'm also in awe at the following:

1). How effing long it takes to wrap presents compared with the speed at which it takes a small-size someone to unwrap them,

2). How sore one's back gets while wrapping said presents,

3). How, in spite of aforementioned pain, one continues to wrap and ribbon presents individually for the sole reason that one wishes to make one's child the happiest alive,

4). How one is able, on occasions such as this, to reflect on childbirth fondly, and,

5). How very proud I am to hear that little girl call me, 'Mom'.

Happy birthday Light of My Eyes,

Your kindness astounds me and inspires me to be a kinder individual. Your innocence delights me each and every day. Your sense of humour - so astute - has seen me keeled over on more occasions than I'm able to remember.

You're the greatest blessing to me, to your granny and grandpa, to Cat (even though you taunt him so).

My life is lovely because of you.

Each and every day spent with you is an honour for which I thank the Lord every day.

You are magnificent.

Thank you for defining my life; for giving me focus. Thank you for filling each day with bubbling joy. Thank you for being YOU - the best little girl in the world.

My love for you, my darling, is much bigger than what these arbitrary things called 'words' is capable of conveying.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Brother Comes of Age.

When someone with whom one shares a very close relationship 'comes of age', it really is a special ocassion that can only be celebrated by earnest and sincere hugging (the type that lasts just a few seconds longer than The Greeting Hug and includes a few rubs to the back) and the uttering of the magnitude of one's pride in said person.

I remember when I got my first job, how The Parental Unit beamed with such pride - particularly The Father; his face almost cracked into two - at the realisation that I would be able to kind of take care of myself.  They held me in their embrace as though they really loved me and were no longer forced to act this way when outsiders were in the company of the family unit.

I felt similar on Sunday.  The Brother, you see, was down for the weekend and staying at mine.  I, of course, was away, making Heston Blumenthal's 'Eggs and Soldiers' with a less rugby-focussed, although equally liquor-focused crowd. 

Upon my returnal, I found The Brother dejected on the couch, wrapped up in my duvet, unable to open the gate to assist in my entering.

The Pant:  Shame, Uncle.  You look awful.  Are you okay?

The Brother:  No.  I am starting to worry that I might die.

TP:  Big night then?

TB:  Huge.

TP:  What's this? (Looking down to exceptionally impractical cream carpets and noticing several reddish brown footprints between lounge and bed, and bed and bathroom, and bathroom and kitchen.)

TB:  I cut my foot on a bottle last night.  I'm sorry, but I thought it had stopped bleeding and it hadn't and now there's blood all over your sheets and duvet cover.

Ah.  The "I'm-Sorry-I-Cut-My-Foot-Excuse".  He forgets, that I, too, have had to use similar excuses in my time.  The "Please-May-I-Go-To-The-Bathroom-Miss-So-And-So-I'm-Having-A-Nose-Bleed" excuse.  I wanted to reach out to him and tell him that it was alright and that it was something to be proud of.  He was, as The Incubator said on that fateful afternoon, now able to have babies.  Although, she, at the time, sternly interjected, that this was not an invitation for you to actually have babies.

It was later when I was showing off my domesticity and applying Vanish to the bloodied spots, that The Brother walked into the kitchen.

The Pant:  Should Aunty Pant-Pant make you a nice cup of tea?

The Brother:  Yes please.

TP:  Look.  I didn't think we'd ever have to have this conversation but I found these next to the couch (producing a box of 'Nurofen for Period Pain' tablets.)

TB:  I couldn't find any-

TP:  If you ever are in my house and you need sanitaryware-

TB:  Pant, I swear.  It's-

TP:  I'm your sister.  I know that this is scary for you but sisters stick together and I want you to know that I'm here for you-

TB:  I have a huge pain-

TP:  I know.  The first time is always sore.

TB:  It's not the first time-

TP:  You really need to learn how to deal with this time of the month-

TB:  I think you mean 'time of the weekend'.

TP:  Yes, your cycles may take a little time to sort themselves out.

TB:  Don't you have any Panado in this house?

TP:  I think Nurofen for Period Pains is the strongest stuff I've got for ... er... you know.  Your first period.

I looked at him lovingly for just a wee second.  I realised I'd just had my first practice round of the conversation that I will forever dread having with The Daughter.  And then he said:

TB:  Eff off.

And I realised that The Brother was definitely not The Sister.  Which is nice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toothpaste On Pimples.

I'm ever so grateful for Benefit's Boing today. A most sincere and humble gratitude indeed. Because when I washed my make-up off last night (I know! On a Sunday. I, too, feel like I don't know myself anymore), there perched dangerously close to suitably Roman-hooked nose, is the world's largest pimple. It's so big that I'm almost (almost, but not quite) not even embarrassed to be carrying around this shiny mammoth growth upon my face. I'm almost impressed. Almost.

But I blame the 40th. Liquor, it appears, does not do wonders for the skin.

It was a cold eve and I wasn't in the mood to get tarted up. But I've Mr Right to find - or even a hot enough Mr Right Now - so I pulled out the LBD that has worked such magic in the past, I stuffed the boob parts with a bra whose efficacy is mind-blowing (that's right, The Pant fake boobied it for the night). I made myself up. I chose a hot pair of heels. I even wore my Alexander McQueen Kingdom - a scent so effing hard to find, that I save it for special occasions.

The Pant: No, I'm not in the mood to drink. I feel like having an early night.

Both The BF and Carlos eyed me with scepticism when I ordered my third drink.

The Pant: I'll have a cane and creme soda, thanks. (Eyeballing The BF) A single. (Pause.) Oh. And a Jagermeister.

By the fifth round, I was wrapped in the warm fuzzy feeling that alcohol alone can bring and thus brave enough to remove my pashmina. Evidently, the decision to wear a bra that triples boob size while simultaneously creating a cleavage so vast that extreme sportsmen the world over would pay to abseil betwixt them puppies, was a hit. I got eyefucked. In a huge way. Even the biggest cocksucker - and only other single person at the function - approached me.

Biggest Cocksucker: I've seen you watching me.

The Pant: I beg your pardon?

BC: Look, you've been looking over here a lot and, well, I'm single, you're single, what do you say?

TP: I say: if you look behind you, you'll notice a very large screen onto which several thousand pictures of The Birthday Girl are being projected. And... How can you tell I'm single?

BC: Please! This is a 40th. You're not wearing a ring. You're single.

I hated his logic. I hated it, especially, because he was right. And nothing grates me more than having to cede to a giant fanny.

Biggest Cocksucker managed to get on my very sizeable tits in no time at all.

BC: So, baby. What d'ya say?

TP: Really, Fuckwit? I have come across sanitary towels with more sex appeal than you.

BC: So my number is 0 7 2-

TP: Don't waste your breath.

BC: blah blah blah-

TP: It's really okay, Anus-

BC: blah blah blah blah..

TP: I'm not going to call you.

BC: You know you want to.

TP: Not in this lifetime.

It was in exactly three shooters' time, while I was in the throes of thinking of something suitably clever to drunk text an ex-lover (schoolgirl error, thankfully avoided) that I, for a brief moment, wished I'd taken down Biggest Cocksucker's number. But fortunately I have The BF to act as my person rescue services.

The BF: Why is your phone out?

TP: (hiding phone between funbags) Huh?

TBF: Who are you phoning?

TP: I was texting My Future Ex-Husband Who Has Less Than No Desire to Actually Caress My Inner Thigh.

(Not strictly a lie. I did text him. Two hours before.)

TBF: Well, I think it's time to go. The wives in there are going to get angry.

TP: Why?

TBF: Almost Hot Guy has been eyeballing you and now his wife's got her posse together and they're watching your every move.

TP: But this is my favourite song! I'm about to bust out some serious moves.

TBF: No, you're not. That puppy is about to become a victim of nip slip.

TP: And anyway. How can they hate me? I'm so not that chick.

TBF: I know that but they don't know.

TP: Well, tell them!

TBF: They won't believe me.

TP: Of course they'll believe you! You're the designated driver. You're sober.

TBF: Yes. And I'm telling you that I think we should go home.

TP: My feet are kind of killing me-

TBF: Get your handbag, Hussy.

TP: Not. Even. As. A. Joke.

I woke up after a solid six hours sleep, with my make-up washed off, in my own bed, with granny panties and a very old vest and I knew I was grateful to The BF. Because I didn't even have a real hangover.

So these are the things I've learnt since Friday:

1). Because I'm single, I'm a threat (even though other women's husbands really aren't my bag),

2). Stopping after drink five units is a good idea,

3). The BF often knows best (especially when sober),

4). Toothpaste on pimples is not just an old wives' tale, and,

5). I need to get twenty more of those bras.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ageing Gracelessly.

My brother has the worst cell-phone manners known to mankind.  They irritate the bejesus out of me.  He's quite happy to dump a call and then not effing return it.  There should be a little handbook on cellphone etiquette.  Rule one: For fuck sake's, phone your sister back.

So, when I phoned Precious Jo'burg Friend the other morning and she didn't phone me back, I was irritated.  Cross, I suppose.  But I forgot about it.  I was too busy having rad fun without her anyway. 

Then I sent out a broadcast message: The Daughter ages soon.  My heart may not cope.  Please come to her party so that you can support me by staying afterwards for some wine.

She responded, immediately, negatively.

That pissed me off further.

I phoned her.

She didn't answer.

I swore.  Loudly.

She phoned me back.

Precious Jo'burg Friend:  Hello my darling.

The Pant: Oh.  It's you.  Can I help?

PJF:  Sorry I didn't phone you back earlier.  I was at a children's party.  And I was bored but it would have been rude to scamper around speaking filth with you.

TP:  You were where?

PJF:  At a children's birthday party.

TP:  Oh.  That's right.  Go to another child's birthday party and not The Daughter's.  I see where your loyalties lie.

PJF:  It's that time of year, my darling.  I don't have two cents to rub together.  And little sense to boot.

TP:  Well, I need you.  I am freaking the sam hell out.

PJF:  Why?  What's up?

TP:  My child is turning 5.  Not only does that make me a mother of a five-year-old, but I also can't use the family parking bays at malls.

PJF:  Pffft.  My child just turned 8.  And I turn 30 next year.

TP:  Ah.  Thanks.  That made me feel better, because I will, always and forever, be younger than you.

PJF:  It won't matter when we're seventy.

TP:  Ah, but 'we' won't be seventy together.  Because you'll be seventy and I'll be sixty-nine.

PJF:  Shut up, you whore.

TP:  You're not allowed to call me a whore.  You didn't phone me back.

PJF:  Fine.  We're even then?

TP:  So, I think I'm like one hundred and fifty percent over Larry.

PJF:  Again?

TP:  I was only under him once!

PJF:  I thought you were over him months ago.

TP:  I was.  I have been.  It's just that because you don't answer my calls and don't phone me back I wasn't sure if I'd told you.

PJF:  Can I tell you something that'll get you over the fact that I didn't phone you back?

TP:  Please.

PJF:  I've gone grey.

TP:  It's about time too.  It's so the colour of the season, although you're so much older than me that you find out about trends when they're just expiring, not so?

PJF:  Not grey as in clothes.  Grey as in hair.

TP:  What the fuck for?  That'll make you look older.

PJF:  Not by choice.  My hair has, on its own accord, gone grey.

TP:  NO EFFING WAY!  Like how many greys?  One?  Two?

PJF:  Like forty.  Like my hairline is grey.

TP:  But it wasn't like that a month ago.

PJF:  I know!  And I've had a bad dye job so the greys look light brown and the brown bits look black.

TP:  I can cope with that.  It's better than grey.  I mean, apart from my parents and my brothers and Larry, I think you're the first person I know who has grey hair.  That's so taken my mind off the fact that I'm going to a 40th this weekend.  And it's not like one of my parents' friends - it's one of mine.

PJF:  You've got 40 year old friends?

TP:  I know!  But, before you judge, this chick is super effing rad.  She looks younger than me, is more fashionable and behaves equally if not slightly worse than I do.

PJF:  Ooooo.  Can I come?

TP:  And she's promised a bevy of single men.

PJF:  That's right, Pant.  Go for the old blokes again.  Didn't do your head in with boredom the last time?

TP:  Look.  The young ones are hot.  But I prefer them a little more mature-

PJF:  And by mature you mean wrinkled.

TP:  A little more distinguished-

PJF:  By 'distinguished' you mean grey-

TP:  Less physical more intellectual-

PJF:  With saggy nipples and crap in bed?

TP:  I like them to be a little more in touch with themselves.

PJF:  Wankers?

TP:  No, like, understanding.

PJF:  Right.  I got you.  Gay?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Junior Boyfriend.

I had a boyfriend when I was 12. I loved him. Entirely. We slow danced. We held hands. We wrote each other letters. I wore bodysuits and green pleated jeans. He dressed akin to Axel Rose. We were like the all South African tween couple. People envied our long-term commitment (6 weeks). And then he dumped me.

Since then, he's been one of my people. You know, a people is a person with whom one shares a relationship that can endure a long separation in which communication is scarce and then hook up again and it's as though you'd baked muffins together the day previous.

Alright, so sometimes we get hammered and smooch. But that hasn't happened for at least two years. Although... come to think of it, we haven't really been hammered together in those two years.

Now, I might have been 12 when he told me that he 'liked a girl in standard six', but I'm going to hang on to the gut feel that he made a mistake when breaking my teeny weeny heart. As Julia ('yo Viv babe') Roberts said in Pretty Woman, 'Big mistake. Big. Huge.'

So, because it's what we do, The Junior Boyfriend and I got chatting about our romantic lives.

The Pant: It's been about exciting as fat free milk, Darling.

The Junior Boyfriend: That bad, Pant?

TP: Why do you think I'm sweating so much? I haven't been this close to naked skin since I can remember.

TJB: We're nowhere near naked skin!

TP: We are! Look over there! All those people in costumes, frolicking in the sea! Driving me crazy.

TJB: But you don't want a twenty-year old surfer coming around.

TP: I so do.

TJB: Really?

TP: Any age really. As long as they're fit.

TJB: As in exercise?

TP: As in I'm being hip and don't all the kids say 'fit'?

TJB: I had a "fit" girlfriend once.

TP: Yeah. I remember her. What happened with her?

TJB: Well, a week before she came home and told me she was a reborn virgin-

TP: She what?

TJB: Ja. She became a reborn virgin.

TP: Is that even possible? No. Wait. She got that 100% herbal cream from Master Zing, didn't she? Did it give her big bums and thighs too?

We chuckled at this point.

TJB: Well, now, a week before that revelation-

TP: Yup.

TJB: So we were getting, er, you know.

TP: Yes.

TJB: And things got a little steamy..

This was like aural porn, and I wasn't putting the breaks on. At all.

TP: Yup yup. Don't stop. Uh-huh.

TJB: And so, well, you know how things go, like in a foreplayish kind of way.

TP: (Um... let me think about that) Yes!

TJB: And the next thing she grabbed me by the hair.

TP: Dirty slut.

TJB: And said (baby voice) icky icky poof poof.

I deflated like a balloon that's come undone.

Who says 'icky icky poof poof'? Especially in that state?

Some chicks don't deserve lovers. Full effing stop.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The God Mother.

Last weekend, while celebrating The Incubator's birthday (again?? how many is the woman going to have?) by steadily ploughing my way through bottle after bottle of wine, Good Friend who has recently been part and parcel of the creation and birth of Extra Flipping Cute Small Size Someone, asked me a question. As the answering of questions go, I'm pretty swift, if not wordy. This time, however, my response came with the speed of, well, a sloth. I think it was a combination of over indulgence and incredulity.

My exact position, despite a seriously fuzzy head, remains imprinted on my mind. I was on The Parental Unit's verandah, trying desperately to work out a way in which to unzip the skin on my back, so I could capitalise the skin-surface-area-to-direct-heater-warmth-ratio. (My body, in its entirety, is far more evolved than the average body - each body part seems to have developed feelings. Thus, for example, if I find myself with back to fire, the front of me gets jealous. I think the front of me is sulking, in fact - the boobs they are adrooping.)

The Incubator: So, Good Friend, have you set a date for the Christening?

Good Friend: Next weekend.

The Pant: Glug glug (it's not in brackets because I was drinking with such determination that the sound of it was as audible as my spoken voice, which is pretty effing loud.)

The Incubator: Oh, so soon? And have you chosen godparents?

GF: Well, we've discussed it between ourselves, but haven't asked them yet.

TI: Who've you chosen?

GF: My brother and ... Pant. If that's alright with you, Pant?

TP: (with red wine now dripping from nostrils and eyes the size of a rhino's ashtrays) Pardon?

TI: Oh, she's definitely free. Of course she'd love to.

TP: Love to?

GF: Great. Put on your most pious face. If you can.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm honoured beyond honoured - as I have been when selected to become responsible for the spiritual (and no, that has nothing to do with cane or vodka) well-being of my other Godchildren. It's just that I'm beginning to wonder how it is that there are now three different sets of parents out there with so little sense as to choose me to guide - so to speak - their children to God.

I think, really, it's because there are six individual adults out there who have, on their occasions, hidden themselves in and around a particular shop, in anticipation of my adverse reaction.

It starts with the name: Cum Books. Really? A Christian bookstore? Um... Besides feeling quite baffled - I mean, I'm sure the Christians must have known which 'cum' they were referring to when they chose the spelling - it kind of sticks in my throat. (No pun intended.). But to the think of my God in that way just makes me feel a touch uneasy. I'm Catholic, for crying out aloud. We believe in conception without the act of sex.

The Pant: Pardon me? Would you mind helping me?

Christian Book Boy: I am a servant of the Lord, Child of God.

TP: Pardon?

CBB: I am a serv-

TP: No. I heard what you said. I just wondered why you called me 'Child of God'.

CBB: Because you are God's child. Isn't it great?

TP: Yes. As are you?

CBB: I am. Amen.

TP: As is that person over there?

CBB: Yes.

TP: And that one?

CBB: Yes.

TP: And that one?

CBB: Yes.

TP: And that one?

CBB: Yes.

TP: As is that person, standing outside the shop who clearly is not Christian?

CBB: Yes.

TP: So what you basically called me is 'person'?

CBB: I suppose so.

TP: Don't you think you should show a person who is about to spend money in your store a little more respect?

CBB: I'm sorry: Can I help you, Ma'am?

TP: Say it again.

CBB: (Now a touch confused) Can I help you, Ma'am?

TP: Why, thank you. Do you have any Catholic merchandise?

CBB: (With that raised and drawn eyebrow expression that indicates the stifling of a laugh) I'm sorry, Ma'am, but this is a CHRISTIAN bookstore.

After explaining to the confused youth that, in fact, Catholicism IS Christianity, we perused the bibles on offer. I declined the retincular Bible - I'm a little old-fashioned that way - and settled on a pretty white leather-bound Bible; one that reminds me of the Bible I got for my Baptism.

We headed to the checkout counter and I handed over my card.

CBB: Do you have a 'Good Blessings' card?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rickshaw Radness.

I had a monumental epiphany on Sunday.  It's August!  Which, in Durban terms, means it's nearly Summer.  And since I'm sporting a stomach that could quite easily be mistaken for an incubation space of a growing foetus, I need to exercise.  And eat Summer food.  And I need to have started, like, before Winter.
With The Brother and all his manners - The Brother is to manners what the rhythm method is to family planning, but that's a story for another time - and his new-found svelte figure, we hit the beach for a little bit of a tone-up.  With The Daughter in tow.

Now this situation is a little bit of an oxymoron.  While I could do with the shedding of a few kilos, The Daughter is characterised by her pronounced stick-like figure.  She's so little, in fact, that I fear for her going to 'real school' because I may have to enlist the services of a seamstress to custom-make miniature replicas of school uniforms.

The Brother was to run, we were to amble, meet up and drink good coffee.  According to The Brother, who, it appears, has replaced all the good things in life with exercise - 11 sessions a week! - believes wholeheartedly in good coffee after cardio.  I believe in beer.  Castle Lite Draft, to be precise.

So, dressed in shorts and her precious size 8 (the small size 8) feet supported by running shoes that made the legs look not dissimilar to oranges on toothpicks (when in Rome and all that jazz), we began our saunter.  I played the 'why-don't-you-chase-Mommy' game to try and up my heart rate.  She played the 'why-don't-you-hold-this-end-of-my-elastic-belt-while-I-run-away-from-you-and-then-I-let-go' game. Didn't charm me too much.

And we jogged and chatted and held hands and skipped and giggled and had one of the jolliest impromptu afternoons known to mankind.  And we wandered just a touch too far for The Spindly Legged One to return at any pace other than that of A Hurpling Mother Carrying Whingeing Child.

While admiring the buckets of flopping fish of the flopping fisherman on the third pier, The Daughter spotted The Brother resplendent in his leopard print vest and pouring enough sweat to fill a domestic swimming pool.  The Daughter launched into a very classy screech of, "Uuuncle!!!!  Stop running," which was certainly not out of place amongst some of the pearlers with whom we shared the promenade.  Also, and in spite of the fact that she has a lung capacity that I'm sure should be listed somewhere in The Guinness Book of Records, the people that found themselves sauntering along the very same promenade as us, managed to collectively make such a raquet to succinctly drown out the attempts of The Daughter.  This, coupled with the fact that The Brother runs with iPod earphones stuck in and Regina Spektor most voluminous thereon (he's been well influenced), meant that his stride was not broken by looking back.

The Pant: (with the realisation that I had car keys, cell phones and wallets; under breath) Shit.  Bugger.  (Louder now)  Alright Sausage.  We've got to run to Uncle.  I need you to put on your big girl panties and chase after Mom, okay?

The Daughter:  I have got panties on, Mom.  I remembered.

TP:  Well, that's a start.  Now chase me.

TD: (The risings of that hysterical whine) My legs don't feel like running.  My feet are tired.  I hate the beach.

Brilliant.  3 km from the meeting site, at which I'd promised to be waiting by the time The Brother finished his run and The Daughter about to throw a tantrum that would have caused me to react in such a manner that other beach goers would be forced to tut-tut me in manner of, "How can you speak to your very own child in that manner?"

Always a lateral thinker, I approached a rickshaw driver(?).

The Pant:  Okay, so how much for a ride back to Suncoast?

Rickshaw Man:  Fottie rands.

TP:  Great.  Let us on.

RM:  For one pesson.  Ayttie rands for both.

TP:  Okay.  I'm going to go with no.  I'll go and ask that guy with the elephantitis and the joint dangling from his lips.

RM:  Fine.  Fifty rands.

TP:  Right.  Hit it.

It took Rickshaw Man a little longer than I anticipated to get going.  And his frequent superobics in which he dazzlingly jumped into the air sending The Daughter and my heads dangerously close to the ground had us shrieking with such joy that I even overheard one or two passersby muttering things about me being a "fun mom" and The Daughter being "an absolute delight".  And that she most certainly is.

After rounding the corner and The Brother spotting his sister and niece - I mean hearing his sister and niece - in an elaborately adorned rickshaw, even he felt the blush of embarrassment that he burned such a scarlet red I thought he might spontaneously combust, I had yet another epiphany:  Life is a pretty damn kiff thing.  If you just let it be.